NewsNotable Speakers Take Center Stage at HBCU Commencements

Notable Speakers Take Center Stage at HBCU Commencements

A memorable component of graduation day at college is the featured speaker.

Alabama A&M University: NFL Hall of Famer John Stallworth, an alum of the university, and Alabama State Senator Rodger M. Smitherman

Benedict College: Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO of UNCF

Bethune Cookman University: Ivory McGregor, global impact leader, BeyGOOD Executive Director

Bowie State University: Wanda Durant, inspirational speaker, HBCU advocate, philanthropist, mother of NBA All-Star Kevin Durant

Claflin University: Nicole Nelson-Jean, Associate Administrator for the Office of Infrastructure in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service. She is a Grambling State University alumna.

Delaware State University: Jamaican Prime Minister, The Most Honorable Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP, will be the first-ever Prime Minister to be the keynote speaker at this HBCU.

Fisk University: “TODAY” show co-host Al Roker and wife Deborah Roberts, ABC News “20/20” co-anchor

Howard University: Thasunda Brown-Duckett, CEO of TIAA, 2024 Black Enterprise Woman of Power Legacy Awardee

Jackson State University: Distinguished Jackson State alums: U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler of California and U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi

Jarvis Christian College: Rep. Bennie Thompson, 2nd Congressional District of Mississippi

Lincoln University: Renowned human rights advocate and founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson, will be the keynote speaker at Lincoln’s 165th Commencement Ceremony in Pennsylvania.

Morris Brown College: Chart-topping gospel artist and producer Kirk Franklin has more than 20 Grammy, Dove, and Stellar awards each to his credit.

Morehouse College: The 46th President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden. This announcement has sparked controversy among staff and students.

Norfolk State University: Del. Don Scott (D-88th District), who became the first Black House speaker in the Virginia Legislature’s 400-year history.

North Carolina A&T University: Tamron Hall, award-winning journalist, executive producer, and host of the nationally syndicated “The Tamron Hall Show”

Prairie View A&M University: United Airlines Vice President Phil Griffith. This Grambling State alum also serves as an Aviation Management department board member at HBCU Texas Southern University.

Spelman College: Honorary Oscar-Award-winning actress Angela Bassett

Texas Southern University: U.S. Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett, representing Texas’ 30th district.

Tuskegee University:  Dr. Dietra Y. Trent, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs. Dr. Trent spoke with Black Enterprise on key issues facing HBCUs.

Wiley University: Dr. Marla Frederick is the John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity and the 18th Dean of Harvard Divinity School—the first woman to hold her current position in the School’s 207-year history.

HBCU presidents also expressed their excitement with their respective featured speakers.

“We welcome one of the world’s biggest champions for HBCUs,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president and CEO of Benedict. Under Dr. Lomax’s stellar leadership,” Dr. Artis said Benedict College has benefited greatly from UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building and partnerships with Congress, the White House, and the Department of Education to further advance HBCUs.

Source: Black Enterprise

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